When will we ever learn?

1. A few weeks back, I saw an online ad of Redbus (a company that I greatly admire) which talked about the ‘big inventory’ that they have.

redbus2. Then I came across an announcement “Payment Gateway option is now open” in a hospital website.

3.  And we see scores of ads on TV, newspapers, magazines and websites that all talk about their great offerings.

What’s common amongst all of these?

The ads or the announcements are silent about the benefits to the customers or the people who see the ads by virtue of their offering.

Let me elaborate.

As a person who wants to buy a bus ticket, how does it matter to me that Redbus has a big inventory (assuming of course I understand what inventory is!!)?  But if I know that I can buy a ticket even at the last moment via Redbus because they have so many seats available, then I would prefer that to the competitors.  So the ‘large inventory‘ feature or strength of Redbus becomes a competitive advantage only when it is translated into “more availability” for the prospective travellers.

Let’s come to the ‘payment gateway‘.  Again, it is not fair to expect all patients to understand what a payment gateway is and why it is relevant for them.  The hospital could have done well to rephrase it as “Now pay from the comfort of your home” to catch the attention of the patients.

We are yet to realize that our customers do not pay for the features in our products but only for the benefits they are likely to get from the product.

This happens because we are so obsessed with our own selves that we fail to even recognize the truth which is “we exist for our current and potential customers”.

Let’s for a change shift our focus to the people who pay our bills!!




  1. vinayak said,

    July 14, 2013 at 5:50 am

    any idea IF Redbus is making any profits ? and how happy have you been buying tickets last minute thru red bus … I’ve been luckier waving down a bus and talking to the conductors

    • badrirag said,

      July 14, 2013 at 6:00 am


      Thanks for your comment. I have no clue about the profitability of RedBus. Hope the Nasper group knows!! And don’t push your luck too far in travelling when there is a more convenient option of booking!! Am just wondering “what will you do if you want to travel by train?!!!!”

  2. N Ramesh said,

    July 14, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Badri, you are still rocking with the same stuff that you used to say during the last Dozen years of your Entrepreneurial life and I am glad that you are keeping on harping on it with the same tempo as a true Product Evangelist !

    The message from always has been on the lines being customer centric and not dwelling on the novelty of the offering, i.e., by focusing on the Values more than on the Features alone, which has been your pet theme all along !

    Keep Rocking !

    Thus Spake the New Age Sage !

    • badrirag said,

      July 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Dear Ramesh,

      Nice to know that you are remembering our conversations. not much has changed as you can see from this post.

      Keep reading and writing


  3. Ram said,

    July 15, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Excellent share. Totally agree with you. We could use this analogy for dealing with people both in organisations & home front too. I am going to put this practice anyway.

  4. N Ramesh said,

    July 15, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Well, Badri, how can I forget those moments in our lives, when we had spent hours together talking about all of it starting from late at night and ending in the wee hours of the next day early morning – with me leaving for my home by jumping out from the dangerously tall grilled gate without waking up the Watchman of the Apartment building in deep slumber and he getting handsomely paid for sleeping well !

    It think we had very healthy sharing of ideas those days, or rather on those nights, even though at times we had crossed swords on certain issues and even stoutly argued on a few subject matters while driving home our respective view points, which I feel I am missing these days, and I honestly opine that those occasions will never come again and only available for cherishing from our memories, forever !

    Perhaps, I should say now that I had cut my teeth against your abrasive tongue and got my intellect (assuming I have !) polished, even though I am not a techy or even Computer Savvy, and I am not that much knowledgeable in the field of Computer Software and Hardware (not that I am good in other topics !) and almost became a votary of Product Business, which unfortunately has not really taken off in India !

    That’s it from me for the time being !

    Thus Spake the New Age Sage !

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